Kyle Olson
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Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis recently appeared before the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice group and laid it on thick.

Lewis, who is also a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, leveled a cheap personal attack at President Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan. See it, courtesy of EAGtv.

Speaking with a manufactured speech impediment in order to mock Duncan, Lewis said:

“‘Education is the civil rights issue of our time.’ Now, you know he went to private school ‘cause if he had gone to public school he would have had that lisp fixed. I know – that was ugly wasn’t it? I’m sorry.”

I thought we taught children not to mock or make fun of others. Apparently the teachers are exempt from such lessons.

It is interesting to witness the vitriol from union leaders aimed at Democratic leaders who have proposed tepid, incremental education reform and school choice.

Elsewhere in the speech, Lewis tells her audience her husband wants to “beat up” her critics and why she’s losing weight.

“You all should go to the Chicago Tribune editorial cartoons. There is a vicious, nasty cartoon of me with my fat butt sitting on a little tiny chair in the corner with a dunce cap on and they made sure they darkened me up in case people didn’t know…had my locks, you know…My husband wants to beat somebody up. … And I have to say, ‘baby, let them do it because you can’t go to jail.’ And I’m too fat to go to jail is what I tell him – I can’t fit in the cell, so I have to behave a little bit. But I’m losin’ weight because I’m preparin’ to go ‘cause they’re sending me to jail, I just know it at some point. I’m goin’ to jail. That’s why I’m losin’ weight – so I can fit in that cell and sit on that little toilet – that’s the only reason.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the mouthpiece for the public school teachers of Chicago and a leader in their national union. Stay classy!

Lewis also joked about her past drug use.

“I am the only black woman in the class of 1974 from Dartmouth College. Whoo. People are impressed – let me tell you, I spent those years smoking lots of weed – self-medicating. Self-medicating – thank you! [cheers] Sounds like you all did, too. [laughs and cheers] Oh, I’m sorry – there’s kids here. I wasn’t supposed to say that, right? [laughs] Too late!”

This is the best the Chicago school employees have to offer? If this is who the teachers choose to represent them, it’s easier to understand why the schools are in such dire academic straights.

And it’s easier to understand why all the union focus appears to be is protecting their pensions, fighting longer working hours, and less accountability.

See the full 35 minute speech here.

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Kyle Olson

Kyle is Founder and CEO of Education Action Group Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit organization with the goal of promoting sensible education reform and exposing those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.